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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 is a poor movie with an okay conclusion…

Posted on December 4th, 2015
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 is a poor movie with an okay conclusion…

by Coop Cooper

As with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, Hollywood got the bright idea to make more money out of movies based on popular book franchises by splitting them into two (or in the case of “The Hobbit”, three) movies. The way this works best is when the book itself has naturally strong cliffhanger points in the story that will keep viewers hanging on for up to a year before the next installment, plus a strong story to begin with. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2” is definitely a case of a book adaptation, split into two movies, that didn’t work…

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Amazon’s flawed series production model…

Posted on November 20th, 2015
Amazon’s flawed series production model…

by Coop Cooper

Back in January, Amazon released an online-only pilot episode for “The Man in the High Castle”, based on the celebrated 1962 sci-fi novel by Philip K. Dick. The episode was free to watch to Amazon Prime members and gained acclaim by both critics and audiences. Based on the strength of the pilot and the reaction to it, Amazon ordered a full season of the show and went into production. On October 23rd, the second episode was released, and as of November 20th the rest of the episodes have been released all at once, similar to the Netflix release strategy. But unlike Netflix, Amazon took ten whole months between releasing the pilot and the rest of the series. That was plenty of time for most people who saw the original pilot to completely forget about it and lose interest by the time the show released…






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RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE… a must see for a film fan

Posted on November 13th, 2015
RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE…  a must see for a film fan

by Coop Cooper

A few years ago at the Clarksdale Film Festival, attendees were treated to a very special screening of a Mississippi film project that had been in the works since 1981. Ocean Springs natives Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos were in attendance to show “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation”, a shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders” done by Zala, Strompolos and their friends, filmed over seven years during the summers of their childhood. The film sat on the shelf until some well-known filmmakers viewed a bootleg copy and tracked down Zala and Strompolos, suddenly thrusting the two (now) adults into limelight. With their exceptionally creative adaptation screening at film festivals all over the world, the old collaborators found themselves haunted by the one scene in “Raiders” they were never able to shoot. Last year, they raised enough money to finally complete the scene back in their home town of Ocean Springs… and all did not go exactly according to plan…






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The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

Posted on September 25th, 2015
The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

by Coop Cooper

With far too many original shows in development to fit into a feature article, I’ll focus on the ‘genre’ shows which have some sort of sci-fi/horror/fantasy element to them. Here are a few of the brand new shows premiering this season that look watchable and have already gotten some critical acclaim (P.S. “Fear the Walking Dead” was such a disappointment, I didn’t even include it in the ‘not-so-hot’ list):






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What looks good for the rest of 2015?…

Posted on August 21st, 2015
What looks good for the rest of 2015?…

by Coop Cooper

“Straight Outta Compton” about the rise of gangster rap group N.W.A. has been a critical and commercial success with impressive box office numbers this past weekend, and it also marks the end of the summer movie season. Here are ten other highly anticipated movies audiences have to look forward to for the rest of 2015…

“Black Mass” (Sept. 18) – Johnny Depp once again makes a bizarre physical transformation to play real-life murderous mobster-turned FBI informant, Whitey Bulger. Depp seems most comfortable when he finds a role he can disappear into, but he always walks the line between drama and parody. Could this be a sincere attempt by the actor to gain the attention of the Academy?






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ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

by Coop Cooper

Like “Guardians of the Galaxy” before it, Marvel attempts to introduce viewers to one of its more obscure properties with “Ant-Man” and although it sounds just as silly as movie starring a gun-toting, wisecracking raccoon, it’s also just as fun.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a former electrical engineer turned criminal for exposing a company’s unethical practices, is released from prison and immediately runs into trouble after stealing a mysterious superhero suit from inventor and former S.H.I.E.LD. agent Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The suit has the power to shrink its user to the size of an insect and the ability to control all species of ants…






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WAYWARD PINES > THE WHISPERS but both still need to prove themselves worthy…

Posted on June 12th, 2015
WAYWARD PINES > THE WHISPERS but both still need to prove themselves worthy…

by Coop Cooper Summer is almost upon us and TV networks are firing up two new supernatural-themed series for the season. Both of these shows, “The Whispers” (Mondays 10/9c on ABC) and “Wayward Pines” (Thursdays 9/8c on FOX) have already begun their series run. “The Whispers” – After a little girl sets up a nearly […]

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TOMORROWLAND is one big Disney commercial and I’m not okay with that…

Posted on May 29th, 2015
TOMORROWLAND is one big Disney commercial and I’m not okay with that…

by Coop Cooper

As a kid growing up in the 80’s, I remember very clearly some of the move/TV content created for my viewing pleasure was designed to encourage me to buy toys. “He-Man”, “Transformers”, “G.I. Joe”, even the “Star Wars” films had a hand in me writing up my Christmas list for Santa Claus. I can forgive “Star Wars” since it invented the whole concept and made getting new toys exciting, but most of these shows were unapologetic cash grabs. “Tomorrowland” feels like a throwback to that shady old practice…






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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD wins the early summer releases for 2015…

Posted on May 22nd, 2015
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD wins the early summer releases for 2015…

by Coop Cooper

The first “Mad Max” film premiered in 1979, starring a very young Mel Gibson and the film went on to become a cult classic. Two sequels followed, the critically revered “The Road Warrior” (1981) and the less respected, yet highly entertaining “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” (1985). Now for the first time in thirty years, we finally have a new Mad Max film… and the result is spectacular.

Taking place sometime long after the original “Mad Max” film, Max (Tom Hardy) and his suped-up Ford Falcon are immediately caught out in the open, captured by the War Boys and taken prisoner. The War Boys are young, radiation-stricken mutants who live only half a life and must rely on constant blood transfusions to live. Unfortunately, Max is a universal donor and is used by the ambitiously suicidal War Boy named Nux (Nicholas Hoult) as a rejuvenating ‘blood bag’…






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AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is a fun mess of a superhero film…

Posted on May 1st, 2015
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is a fun mess of a superhero film…

by Coop Cooper

The Avengers, now a full-fledged cooperative team, assaults the base of the evil Hydra scientist Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) and discovers he has been experimenting with alien technology. Worried that another alien invasion could catch the world off guard, Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce “Hulk” Banner (Mark Ruffalo), create Ultron (voiced by James Spader), a super-intelligent computer program designed to strategize and out think any adversary. Apparently neither scientist has seen a “Terminator” movie because Ultron immediately revolts and builds a robot army with the intent on wiping out humanity. Ultron is aided by the super-powered twins, Wanda “The Scarlet Witch” (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who have a personal grudge against Tony Stark…






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HBO’s GAME OF THRONES Season 5 is poised to surpass the novels…

Posted on April 24th, 2015
HBO’s GAME OF THRONES Season 5 is poised to surpass the novels…

by Coop Cooper

Fans of the “Game of Thrones” books are in for quite a shock as Season 5 of the adapted show for HBO has begun to depart from the original source materials. Two episodes in and I have already noticed some big changes which will have long-lasting repercussions for the series and could ultimately change the course of the original storylines.

Author George R. R. Martin is famous for dragging out the paths of his main characters who seem to get further and further away from each other with no chance for reunion in sight and he shows no indications of tying up all of the many loose ends introduced in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels on which the TV series is based…






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Most anticipated films of summer 2015…

Posted on March 20th, 2015
Most anticipated films of summer 2015…

by Coop Cooper

The summer movie season is nearly upon us and here are a few of the most anticipated films that could rake in the big box office bucks…

“The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (May 1) – In this sequel the superhero team fights Ultron, an omnipotent robot villain born from Tony Stark’s technology. This film will greatly expand the Marvel mythology and introduce some new heroes and villains who are sure to appear in future films.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (May 15) – This will be the first “Mad Max” movie in thirty years and according to the spectacularly chaotic trailer, this franchise rebooting may be worth the wait. Tom Hardy plays the new Max who faces off against two warring clans of survivors, one of which is lead by a one-armed Charlize Theron…






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A “Paddington” Bear movie? Yep, and it’s actually a lot of fun…

Posted on February 6th, 2015
A “Paddington” Bear movie?  Yep, and it’s actually a lot of fun…

by Coop Cooper

I remember reading “Paddington Bear” picture books as a kid. I recall being mildly amused by the bear in the hat and overcoat but as an adult I couldn’t possibly imagine a live-action adaptation would be entertaining for both parents and children. Surprisingly, “Paddington” proved me wrong and I’m very pleased to say it surprised me nearly as much as “The Lego Movie” did last year…






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More exceptional films from 2014…

Posted on January 16th, 2015
More exceptional films from 2014…

by Coop Cooper

I’m still powering through many of the 2014 films that are up for awards and here are five more I think are exceptional and worthy of a watch…

“Birdman” – A washed up actor (Michael Keaton) tries to salvage a troubled play production that could revitalize his career, but a narcissistic, unhinged co-star (Edward Norton), a zany cast of misfits and his own psychosis could derail his comeback. Shot to look like it was filmed in one continuous shot (it wasn’t), “Birdman” is an actor’s dream film which will be most well known for singlehandedly – if not temporarily – resurrecting Michael Keaton’s career…






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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 has some sticky issues but should satisfy fans…

Posted on November 28th, 2014
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 has some sticky issues but should satisfy fans…

by Coop Cooper

Directly following the events in “Catching Fire”, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) awakens alone in an underground infirmary in District 13 after barely surviving the last Hunger Games event. Now under the protection of the resistance, Katniss is asked by resistance leader President Coin (Julianne Moore) to become the ‘Mockingjay’, the symbol of the revolution. Enraged that the resistance did not fulfill its promise to rescue her partner, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss refuses until she realizes she is in the position to make demands…






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INTERSTELLAR… The most overrated film of the year?

Posted on November 18th, 2014
INTERSTELLAR…  The most overrated film of the year?

by Coop Cooper

The film takes place in a future where war has been eradicated and forward technological progress has come to a standstill. Although there is peace, the world is suffering due to lung disease caused by unending dust storms and all edible plant life is dying from an incurable blight. Farmers are more valued than spaceship pilots, so Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) has forsaken his gift to live in the country and raise corn with his family. When Cooper and his spirited, genius daughter Murphy investigate a paranormal event in their farmhouse, it leads them to the location of a secret government project to discover life on distant planets and risk a new means of travel to get there. Cooper is inducted into the project and sent into space, leaving his grieving daughter behind…






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STAR WARS: REBELS ushers in the next generation of STAR WARS films

Posted on October 3rd, 2014
STAR WARS: REBELS ushers in the next generation of STAR WARS films

by Coop Cooper

There hasn’t been any new “Star Wars” content in awhile besides the excellent, animated “The Clone Wars” series on the Cartoon Network/Netflix that was cancelled earlier this year. While this new series, “Star Wars: Rebels” on the Disney XD Channel isn’t of the same quality as “Clone Wars”, it is a sign of larger things to come.

The story takes place fourteen years after the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire (between episodes III and IV). A crafty, teen street urchin named Ezra inadvertently helps a team of mercenaries hijack a shipment of hand blasters from the Empire. Kanan, the leader of the mercenaries sees potential in Ezra who tags along as they deliver the weapons and food to a planet full of refugees whose homes were destroyed by the Empire. It soon becomes clear to Ezra that these team members are no mere mercenaries but rebels acting against the Empire. During a raid to free a group of enslaved Wookies, Kanan is forced to reveal a secret he has been hiding since the fall of the Republic, a secret which may also have a connection to Ezra…






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GOTHAM, SCORPION, SLEEPY HOLLOW… Prepare to set your DVRs for Mondays this fall

Posted on September 26th, 2014
GOTHAM, SCORPION, SLEEPY HOLLOW…  Prepare to set your DVRs for Mondays this fall

by Coop Cooper

Prime time fall TV pilots have arrived and Monday is shaping up to be the must-see night of the season. Here are three you might want to set your DVR for…

“Gotham”:

Possibly the most controversial new series of the season, “Gotham” chronicles the origin of Batman from his days as a pre-teen. The young Bruce Wayne plays a small part in the series as rookie detective Jim “future Commissioner” Gordon (Ben McKenzie) tries to solve the murder of Bruce’s parents, a crime that a young Selina “Catwoman” Kyle is secretly a witness to…






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Syfy TV pilots: Z NATION and HIGH MOON… One is great. The other is freaking terrible.

Posted on September 19th, 2014
Syfy TV pilots:  Z NATION and HIGH MOON…  One is great.  The other is freaking terrible.

by Coop Cooper

“Z Nation”:

Taking place years after a zombie apocalypse ravaged the Earth, a team of soldiers and scavengers (including Harold Perrineau, Tom Everett Scott and “Twilight”’s Michael Welch) must escort the only survivor of a zombie bite across the country to a California research facility in order to help develop a cure. They are guided by radio by a lone communications operator (D.J. Qualls) at a desolate military base in the Arctic Circle.

Cashing in on the massive success of “The Walking Dead,” “Z Nation” tries to duplicate a similar story but with a hammier tone…






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OUTLANDER… Starz TV series could be a hit (if you have a subscription)

Posted on September 8th, 2014
OUTLANDER… Starz TV series could be a hit (if you have a subscription)

by Coop Cooper

British military nurse Claire Randall (Caitrionia Balfe) returns from World War II after VE Day to her intelligence officer husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). They abscond to Inverness, Scotland on a ‘second honeymoon’ to catch up on their love life and to indulge Frank’s genealogical interests. In the hills near the city, Claire witnesses a Halloween ritual performed by druids around an ancient shrine. The power of the ritual transports Claire back in time to 1743 in the midst of a battle between British Redcoats and Scottish Highlanders. There she finds herself on the run with a band of Scots where she quickly proves herself useful with her advanced first aid skills and medical knowledge. She forms a fast bond with the young fighter Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) after saving his arm, but she soon discovers that they are being hunted by her husband’s villainous Redcoat ancestor “Black Jack” Randall (Tobias Menzies).

This popular series of novels written by Diana Galbaldon has been described as a “Game of Thrones” for the romance novel crowd…






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Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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